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Showing posts from July, 2014

3 Rebels Born in July

Marten Looten, 1632 by Rembrandt van Rijn

July is a month in art history that has produced some of the most idiosyncratic, passionate, sensitive and rebellious artists of all time. If you don't believe me, consider these names: Rembrandt, Artemisia Gentileschi (and her father Orazio), Camille Pissarro, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Edgar Degas, Salvator Rosa...all born in July. All rebellious in their own particular way. All brilliant. Let's explore a few of these great painters and find out why...

Marten Looten was a wealthy Dutch merchant from Leiden who commissioned this portrait. Although understated compared to some of his less formal portraiture, Rembrandt creates here a likeness that is painted with such sensitivity and depth that those penetrating eyes, tight lips, and thick hands convey a person who breathes through the paint. Normally Rembrandt loved using texture in his sitter's clothing to describe and identify their very soul, yet here the man appears very au…